Meniere’s Disease and Hearing Loss: How Are they Related?
Hearing loss is one of the most commonly found medical problems in USA. If we were to look at the statistics, we would find that about 48 million people in America live with some form of hearing disability. This number is pretty shocking, and it makes hearing loss one of the most commonly faced medical issues of the country. The older demographic is especially more prone to developing hearing problems.
There are many causes of hearing loss. We will be taking a closer look at the relation between Meniere’s disease and hearing loss.
Meniere's is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause dizzy spells, known as vertigo, and also hearing loss. It is important to note that Meniere’s disease takes place in one ear only.
Meniere's disease can happen at any time to just about anyone, no matter what their age is. It is, however, important to mention that it is more likely to start somewhere between the young and middle-aged parts of adulthood. This disorder is also a chronic one. However, there are several types of treatment available for the condition. These treatments can help relieve symptoms and also cut down the overall impact it may has on ones life.
Causes and Symptoms
What causes this disorder is yet to be known. If we take a look at the symptoms of this disease, we will find that it may be due to too much fluid within the inner ear. What causes the buildup of this fluid is unknown.
Some of the probable causes that may be contributing to this disease are:
- Fluid is not being properly drained. It is most likely due to a blockage or some kind of abnormality in the anatomic structure of the ear.
- The immune response is not normal
- Some kind of viral infection
- Being genetically predisposed to it
It is essential to point out that since no single cause has been identified, it is very likely that this disease can be because of a multitude of factors.
Credit: Vestibular Disorders Association
- Getting vertigo regularly.
- Hearing loss
- Feeling like the ear is too full
Your physician will need to conduct an exam and also take your medical history. To be diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, the following criterion needs to be met.
- Two confirmed vertigo cases.
- Hearing loss that has been verified by going through a hearing test
- When there is an exclusion of the other ways that this could have happened.
Meniere’s Disease and Hearing Loss
One of the most common symptoms of this particular disorder is Tinnitus. It is also known as a sort of “ringing within the ears” or having muffled hearing or the feeling of there being something stuck within the inner ears. It can also be similar to a sense of fullness, congestion, or pressure in the affected ear. More often than not, this disorder will affect only one ear. However, it is important to point out that in roughly 15 percent of people with this disorder, both the ears are affected. Learn how hearing aids can help with Tinnitus.
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When this disorder affects a person, a lot of people have problems deciphering the sounds in their environment. This disorder makes it difficult for the affected person to process sounds. It feels like a noise soup rather than being able to comprehend sounds properly.
Another thing that has to be mentioned is that when people who have this disorder wear hearing aids, they sometimes experience drop attacks and the sensation of feeling like everything is spinning. It is a prevalent thing that happens when people are at higher altitudes. The common cause of this is the pressure in the ears at those altitudes.
The first thing to realize about this disorder is that it is not treatable. However, you can use medications in order to control vertigo, vomiting, and also nausea. Two types of drugs are generally prescribed for this condition:
Prochlorperazine will help with dealing with severe vomiting and nausea.
Antihistamines will help you deal with mild nausea, vertigo, and also vomiting.
The idea is to get these medications into your body as quickly as possible after the first symptoms have been noticed.
You may also need treatment for:
- Loss of balance
- Hearing loss
Distress is also widespread among those who have Meniere’s disease. This is because it is a complicated and also unpredictable condition to have to deal with. If you are experiencing distress, you ought to contact your GP as soon as possible.
How Hearing Aids Will Be Able to Help
One of the common outcomes of getting this disorder is that you develop hearing loss. If that has happened to you, we have some good news for you. Hearing aids can help you. Like any other type of hearing loss, the right pair of hearing aids can help restore your hearing abilities. Owing to the fact that this particular disorder occurs in one ear and the symptoms include dizziness and vertigo, hearing aids can really help with balance. These devices can make sure the orientation is correct when the brain receives audible information. It is important to remember that hearing aids cannot rectify the underlying issues that this disorder brings up. However, they are able to bring about a significant improvement in the quality of life index of the people affected with this disorder.
My mom happened to be suffering from Meniere’s disease. Her first-hand account of how it feels like living with this kind of disease has enabled me to form a template for dealing with this disorder.
One thing my mother is adamant about that has helped her (it is also very noticeable for her close ones) is her hearing aids. She does not feel like she used to when she did not have this disorder, but it has improved her balance issues and dizziness issues very well. It is evident as when she did not wear her hearing aid device, she says her whole day has been ruined. The amplification that the hearing provides helps my mother feel a lot more equalized and in sync with the unaffected ear. If she does not have her hearing aids on, her ears will feel full and uneven, while the other ear causes vertigo.
We cannot expect consistent results for different people with this condition who try out hearing aids. The takeaway here ought to be what hearing aids have been able to offer my mother, and the hope is that it will inspire others who are fighting similar battles.
A few particular herbs like ginger root and ginkgo Biloba supposedly can provide relief from symptoms of vertigo in a lot of people. However, it is something that is yet to be proven. If we refer to the NIDCD, they claim that there is absolutely no proof that herbal supplements, acupressure, or acupuncture can help you treat this disorder.
However, as we have discussed above, hearing aids can definitely help deal with a lot of the issues that Meniere’s disease brings up. If you would like to see if your hearing has been affected by this disorder, then you can quite easily take a hearing test to further probe into the matter. There are many hearing tests online that are absolutely free and can help you check your audible limit.
A beneficial thing that you can do is to use the online hearing test by Nano Hearing Aids for free. Alternatively, you can take the test by downloading their app.
Organizations that Can Help to Buy Hearing Aids
The following are a list of organizations in the States that can help you to get a hearing aid device:
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- Medicare and Medicaid
- State vocational rehabilitation programs
- AUDIENT program
- Easter Seals
- Travelers Protective Association of America Scholarship Trust for the Hearing Impaired
After all has been said and done, living with Meniere’s disease and hearing loss can be challenging. However, you can significantly improve the overall quality of your life with this disorder if you follow the recommendations listed in this article.
Frequently Asked Question
Q. Can You Drive With Meniere's?
Ans: If you possess a driver’s license, you will be told to stop driving if you are diagnosed with this disease. Once your symptoms have been brought back into control, then you will be able to drive again.